Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Venezuela's Chavez: Semper Fidel

At some point in the not too distant future we'll probably see an updated "Axis of Evil" list. Near the top you can expect Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a Latin American dictator of the old school (caudillo, cacique, populist, Peronist, Fascist, Communist, take your choice). This fresh interview by Newsweek's Lally Weymouth in the current edition of Newsweek International is a revealing and also rather funny sketch of the man who controls the single most important direct source of imported oil for the United States:

'Terrorist Administration'
Chavez attacks Bush, and warns about oil prices.

...Weymouth: Reportedly, one of your best friends is Cuba's Fidel Castro. Is that true?
Chavez: He is one of my best friends.

Why do you admire him?
His valor, his courage, the way he has led the revolution for more than 40 years—in spite of a blockade and an embargo. Fidel is going to be 80 very soon, but this guy is filled with vitality. He is totally devoted to solving people's problems: health, education and work. ... Now, before the hurricane, they [the Bush administration] knew that Katrina was coming, and the government did not evacuate people. In Cuba, when they know a hurricane is coming, chickens, hens and people are all evacuated. ...

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